Quick Fixes to Make Your Garden Great

Colorful annuals and mulch create a well-manicured garden.
Colorful annuals and mulch create a well-manicured garden.

Gardens are a great addition to any home’s curb appeal, but it doesn’t take long for even the simplest garden to get out of control if it’s not tended to on a weekly -- or sometimes even daily -- basis. Whether you’ve moved into a new home with gardens that have been neglected or you’ve just been short on time to tend to your existing gardens, all it takes is five simple steps to transform your garden from drab to fab in as little as a few hours.


Even though you may have chosen some lovely plants for your yard, Mother Nature has likely provided you with many additional unwanted plants in the garden. From tufts of grass to dandelions to even more stubborn weeds, pulling out all of the plants that don’t belong in the garden will allow the ones that are intentionally planted there shine without having to compete with the unwelcome ones.


The majority of shrubs and perennials require some pruning to be at their best. Even if you only cut out all of the dead branches (anything that is dried out or doesn’t have new growth) and trim back any wiry branches that stand out beyond the others, the plant will have a better shape and it will thrive because all the sun and water it absorbs will be directed to healthy branches instead of struggling ones.


There are many ways to edge a garden, but no matter which way you choose to do it, creating a crisp, clean line between the garden and its neighboring grass or walkway helps define it and makes it stand out. Installing a straight metal or plastic garden edge will also help to keep weeds from creeping into the garden. For a more decorative look, bricks or stones are a good option. Or if you just want the garden to have a fresh look, use a garden edging tool to create a crisp even line in the dirt along the border of your garden.

Add Colorful Annuals

If gardens aren’t carefully plotted out with shrubs and perennials that bloom throughout the season, it’s easy to find your garden feeling dull. A quick fix is to pick up flats of bright annuals such as impatiens, begonias, zinnias, and snap dragons which offer an instant punch of color at a reasonable price that will last all season long.


The finishing touch for a well-manicured garden is mulch. Spreading these moist wood chips throughout the garden to cover any exposed dirt not only unifies the overall look of your garden, but it also helps the soil retain moisture so less watering is required and helps block the sun to prevent weed growth.

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